Everything Is: Paintings and Drawings by Emily Rapport

Summertime, Rogers Park, 40×50″, oil on canvas © Emily Rapport

This October, Eat Paint Studio celebrates our first year as the gallery and art studio of Emily Rapport. On view this month, “Everything Is,” Emily’s recent paintings of Chicago’s urban landscape.

Emily Rapport’s everyday scenes of houses, fast food restaurants, and “L” tracks are steeped in lush observation. Folds of Tyvek homewrap are painted as if they are majestic robes, vibrant sunsets transform soot colored snow in an industrial landscape to abstract passages of lavender, blue, and aqua paint.

Seen together, these expressive paintings of Chicago homes and landscapes become a composite neighborhood with a storied past. Emily melds observed reality with imagined narrative inviting the viewer to look more closely at the everyday world around them.

Many of the urban landscapes Emily paints are not typically “beautiful” or even pleasant; muddy construction sites fenced in fluorescent orange plastic, unkempt spindly limbs of urban trees framing the lonely parking lots of fast food restaurants. And yet, these scenes are described in a way that finds beauty in small moments. The artists hand, the (still) almost magical creation of a narrative illusion, requires the viewer to slow down and to really look.

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